Christian Brandtner | Transformation
11 May - 29 June 2023

Found objects, animal bones, modeling clay - a world in transition, where we can discover new landscapes, creatures and metamorphoses. The exceptional Viennese artist Christian Brandtner creates his own microcosm.

Even as a child and adolescent, Brandtner felt a great affinity for drawing. After encountering the art of van Gogh, he began his own artistic activity, which ultimately led to training as a theater painter. In addition to this, an independent artistic work is growing, which ranges from representational painting and drawing to sculptural objects.

Brandtner is interested in contrasts - surface texture, shape differences or contrasting colors - they symbolize life and death, good and evil, top and bottom. Within these poles there are recurring elements in the works, such as the egg, clothespin, eye or arrow. When visiting the artist's studio, one quickly thinks of a cabinet of art and curiosities. The objects impress not only with the variety of materials and detailed work, but also give the impression that they are almost living beings.

The exhibition focuses on the latest series "Tardigrade", in which Brandtner works on the 500-million-year-old tardigrades. Tardigrades are sub-millimeter small creatures that have the extraordinary ability to adapt to the most extreme living conditions. They survive in space, in the arctic or at the deepest point of the sea. The animals are able to reduce their metabolic activity so much that they enter a near-death state and can remain there for decades. It was precisely this adaptability that inspired Brandtner, who transformed the robust tardigrades into flying objects reminiscent of the scientific achievements of the 20th century.

The works from the "Egg Transformation" series impress with their details, in which eggshells, wood, wire, glass, leaves and modeling clay are formed into small art objects. In numerous religions and cultures, the egg stands for creation, life, resurrection - this is how it finds its way into Brandtner's work and becomes the breeding ground for new beings and forms.

Text: Selin Stütz